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Joel Rose

Joel Rose is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers immigration and breaking news.

Rose was among the first to report on the Trump administration's efforts to roll back asylum protections for victims of domestic violence and gangs. He's also covered the separation of migrant families, the legal battle over the travel ban, and the fight over the future of DACA.

He has interviewed grieving parents after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, asylum-seekers fleeing from violence and poverty in Central America, and a long list of musicians including Solomon Burke, Tom Waits and Arcade Fire.

Rose has contributed to breaking news coverage of the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, and major protests after the deaths of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Eric Garner in New York.

He's also collaborated with NPR's Planet Money podcast, and was part of NPR's Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

As hospitals were overrun by coronavirus patients in other parts of the world, the Army Corps of Engineers mobilized in the U.S., hiring private contractors to build emergency field hospitals around the country.

The endeavor cost more than $660 million, according to an NPR analysis of federal spending records.

But nearly four months into the pandemic, most of these facilities haven't treated a single patient.

When Carlos Mejia-Bonilla was detained by immigration authorities a few years ago, he told the health care staff at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey that he was taking medicine for a range of conditions, including diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver.

Ten weeks later, he died of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

President Trump said in a tweet late last night that he would sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the U.S. Today he announced a more narrow plan to limit immigrants coming here on a green card.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Now these protests come as states and cities across the country grapple with when and how to start reopening their economies. To help put it all in context, let's bring in NPR's Joel Rose. He's been following the protests.

Hey there, Joel.

Frustration with stay-at-home orders is mounting in many parts of the country. In Colorado, protesters gathered Sunday afternoon on a hillside in front of the state capitol in Denver.

"I'm watching businesses close. I'm watching friends lose their incomes," protester Deesa Hurt told Colorado Public Radio. "We just want to reopen Colorado. That's all we want."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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As the number of coronavirus cases surged in Massachusetts, nurses at a hospital in Milford were desperate. They held up cardboard signs outside the hospital asking for donations of protective gear to wear while treating infected patients.

William Touhey Jr. thought he could help. Touhey is the fire chief and emergency management director in this small town outside of Boston. He did some legwork, and placed an order for 30,000 protective gowns from overseas.

"We were hearing good things that it was coming," Touhey said.

In recent days, the Trump administration has organized dozens of flights to deliver surgical masks and other critical medical supplies around the country, working with a half dozen major medical distributors to get those supplies "to the right place at the right time."

But if your state isn't considered the right place, that system can be frustrating.

"When you look at those five or six national distributors, Montana is sure as heck not getting much luck out of them," Gov. Steve Bullock said in an interview.

From the hospital where he works in South Carolina, Dr. Kiran Nagarajan has been watching the coronavirus crisis explode in other parts of the country. But, like many other immigrant doctors, he can't do anything about it.

"There's a dire need of physicians especially in places like New York, New Jersey," Nagarajan said. "I wish I can go and help there."

The $2 trillion emergency relief bill moving through Congress is designed to cushion the effects of the steep economic downturn caused by the pandemic — but provides little relief for immigrants.

The legislation, which provides one-time cash payments to low- and middle-income households, excludes immigrants in the country illegally as well as children who are U.S. citizens but have at least one parent who is undocumented.

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